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Central Coast News

Blood donors needed as supply hits "dire low level" throughout the Central Coast

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Vitalant
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Vitalant said the Central Coast is not only seeing fewer donations, but also a higher demand for blood in hospitals

The ongoing pandemic has affected the supply of several things, but one of the most crucial supplies is blood for transfusions.

“Right now it’s really tough," said Kevin Adler with Vitalant Blood Donation. "We are currently in a critical blood shortage. Not only in the Central Coast, but really across the entire country.”

Adler said the blood donation supply is at a dire level, and donation centers are having a hard time keeping up with demand.

“Right now," Adler said. "We are under a two-day supply of type O, and then under a four-day supply of the other blood types.”

One reason for the shortage, Adler said, is more procedures and surgeries are happening at hospitals now that COVID19 restrictions have eased.

“ We are seeing about a 5 percent increase in hospital demand for requests for blood," Adler said. "That’s because a lot of things are happening that didn’t happen in the weeks or months earlier.”

Adler said the low inventory of blood may delay some procedures at hospitals, and if the lack of blood donations gets worse, it could mean life or death in trauma situations.

“If something happens, a natural disaster or mass blood need event — it’s the blood that’s already there that’s making the difference," Adler said. "So that’ why we like to keep a four-day supply of blood on hand at all times.”

With schools and businesses limiting blood drives due to COVID19 precautions, Adler said they could really use people coming into blood donation centers.

“50 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate," Adler said. "Yet only about 3 percent actually do.”

If you’re interested in donating, you can book an appointment or learn more at vitalant.org or through redcross.org.

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